Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has announced the formal integration of the Family Mediation Service into the Legal Aid Board.
This follows a successful pilot project launched last year in Dolphin House, Dublin, where the mediation service was offered in the same premises as the District Court which hears family law cases.
The Legal Aid Board also has solicitors on site, so people with family law disputes could use both services, if necessary.
Mr Shatter said that this co-operative approach, which also involves the Courts Service, would be extended across the country in due course, providing a coherent and integrated approach to resolving certain family law disputes.
The Minister reiterated his intention to publish a comprehensive Mediation and Conciliation Bill in the near future, which would provide for a better operation of alternative dispute mechanisms in our legal system.
(The Irish Times, 3rd November 2011)